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5 Ways to Be Mindful on Vacation

SANO Editorial

More than 50% of people take vacations in the summer months which on average last about a week.  We take vacations to relax, recharge and heal our bodies and minds from the everyday stress.  Try these suggestions to be more mindful during vacation and experience new pleasures.

Digital Disconnect.    We spend so much in our lives responding to emails, liking pictures and posting comments on social media.  Instead of continuing that pattern while on vacation, you should separate yourself from the digital world and unplug.  Although this may be challenging for most, creating boundaries ahead of your vacation can be helpful.  Some digital disconnect suggestions include powering-down while on the plane, checking your phone only when in the hotel room and reading a print copy novel or magazine.  By initiating a digital disconnect, you will find yourself as being more present and centered in the moment.  You may even find yourself initiating some of these habits into your everyday life upon returning from vacation.  And your mind will thank you later.     

Remain Flexible.  Road traffic, long airport security lines, flight delays, unprepared hotel rooms upon arrival and long waits for pre-booked restaurant reservations are all things that are out of our personal control.  Rather than allowing unforeseen circumstances that are uncontrollable to create negative emotions, try to go with the flow while you’re on vacation.  Hit the reset button by taking three deep breaths and just accept the present situation.  Just because you may not stick to your original, perfectly planned itinerary, you’ll likely find something positive is right around the corner.  And remember, no vacations are bad vacations!

Find Time to Workout / Meditate.  Our productivity decreases and diminishes when we are stressed.  While on vacation make it a priority to move your body and meditate.  You can move your body by simply stretching, swimming, taking a walk or run on the beach, going hiking or practicing yoga. In conducting these mindful exercises, be aware of your increased sensory stimulations.  Whether it’s listening to the birds chirping, the waves crashing on the sandy shoreline or the feeling of your skin after absorbing the friendly minerals of salt water, take the time to allow your senses to be overwhelmed by nature that surrounds you.  There are some superb guided mindfulness meditation apps on smartphones that you can use to reset your mind and body.  We like Stop, Breathe & Think. Find 5-15 minutes each vacation day to scan your body and allow your mind and body to reset and recharge.

Expand Your Comfort Zone.  Vacations can be a wonderful time to expand your life outside of your current comfort zone and initiate change.  First you must be mindful in pinpointing what it is you’re attempting to change in your life and focus on the life you want.  Next step is to assure your mind that you can accomplish your goals and to take action from the current status quo.  If you are trying to get over a significant other, now is a great time to stop checking his/her Facebook and Instagram accounts and sending empty texts that have a negative impact on your self-esteem.  If your goal is to increase your health and appearance, commit to breaking away from casually working out and push yourself to newly established goals.  If you think you can’t accomplish your fitness goals alone, locate the perfect trainer that will assist you in meeting the goals and appearance you desire. If you're seeking fitness inspiration, checkout the Dogpound's Instagram page; not only do the good vibes set this gym apart from other boutique fitness studios, but it's the way people are working out there. Your comfort zone is where you live 90% of your life; commit to exploring the other 10%!! 

By All Means, Treat Yourself.  There is no better time to be kind and generous to yourself than when on vacation.  Whatever makes you smile more and worry less, now is the time to take advantage of centering your mind and body.  Eat what you want and when your body tells you are hungry (get off your regular eating schedule), indulge in adult beverages, treat yourself to massages and don’t set morning alarms.  Over time our bodies become accustomed to our natural routines, so instead of setting an alarm, get out of bed when you feel like you had the proper amount of sleep.  Treat as much as you want (within reason) and commit to staying in the moment you’ve created.  Focus on your mind being in the same place as your body and enjoying the sensation or luxury that each experience presents.  Enrich yourself in the beauty of the experience.  

Whether it’s a destressing or creating change in your life, use your summer vacation to practice and increase your mindfulness. You’ll intensify your relaxation, maximize your joy, revitalize your spirit and enjoy all that the change of environment has to offer.

Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

SANO Editorial

Today marks Earth Day 2018, the day of the year when more than one billion of us celebrate the planet.  Earth Day aims to encourage people across the world to be more environmentally friendly. This might mean increasing the amount you recycle, volunteering for a green project, eating organic foods, or “voting with your dollars” as a consumer for environmentally-friendly brands. 

SANO is a brand that defines health and wellness in terms of our consumers, communities and the environment.  From our minimal organic ingredients that promote agriculture sustainability to our sustainable keep-sake packaging design, we are a brand that lives our ethos. Not only do our minimal ten ingredient formulas equal optimum results (sometimes, less is more), but they also provide for a reduced carbon footprint.  Similarly our sensible keep-sake box design that is made locally in the U.S. minimizes the amount of physical and chemical waste generated in the environment.  And our plant-based protein subscription service—which offers 20% off and free shipping—delivers on a bi-monthly basis further reducing the amount of carbon emissions.  

SANO’s decision to put the environment first was recently recognized by one of the leading digital media health and wellness companies, Well+Good, in conjunction with Earth Day.  Now it’s time for all of us to contribute to the “largest secular holiday in the world”, so take in your surroundings, appreciate them, and make an effort to be kind to your planet!

Building a Stronger Core

SANO Editorial

You may not realize it, but a strong core doesn’t just help you sport the summer bikini or make you fit great into those new jeans—it also helps you perform routine tasks.  You use your core every day while at home, at work, in the gym, or playing sports.  A strong core isn’t just about having ripped abdominal muscles—it increases your balance and posture, reduces the risk of injury, and can increase raw power and strength by serving as a strong base.  Within this article we share with you some common misconceptions, benefits and exercises to help you improve your core strength. 

Misconceptions.  Many fitness-minded individuals fall into the common misconception of focusing on their abdominal muscles to strengthen their core.  Research suggests that the best exercises for abs don’t actually focus entirely on those flashy stomach muscles, but rather working the entire core.  When you perform hundreds of ab busting exercises like crunches, you are utterly discounting other more critical exercises that are more efficient in helping tone and sculpt the abdominal area.  By focusing more on alternative core-stabilization exercises—which we discuss later—the abs and trunk will strengthen, tone and build underlying abdominal muscles providing for stronger abs.    

Benefits. Like your mother always said, “Sit up straight, put your shoulders back and head up.” Proper poster has a direct correlation of a strong core.  Developing strong core muscles prevents you from slouching, which creates less friction on your spine providing for less wear and tear, and proper breathing.  The unequivocal benefit of having a strong core is for its functional strength benefits that we utilize every day for essential activities like standing, walking and other daily living activities.  

More and more common, individuals are being treated for chronic lower-back pain. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time, and it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.  If core muscles are weak and unbalanced, the back loses its correct lumbar curve and health posture. Research confirms that by maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, and developing a strong core with proper posture considerably reduces the risk of back pain.  

Whether you are a golfer, tennis player, swimmer, runner, cycler or any other fitness enthusiasts, all of your powerful movements originate from the center of your body.  The stabilization of the spine from the pelvis to the neck, and the shoulders that allow for the transfer of power to the arms and legs all generate from strong core muscles.  With more strengthened core muscles, the muscles in the extremities can contract and fire more powerfully on command.

Exercises.  When it comes to core exercises as we mentioned earlier, too much focus is placed on the abdominal muscles and not enough on the back, pelvic and diaphragm muscles which are essential for strength and stability.  There are several stabilization exercises that can be used to strengthen the core and here are some of our favorites: plank variations, bicycle crunches, hanging straight leg extensions, stability ball variations, BOSU ball mountain climbers, TRX fallouts, and landmine rotations, to name a few. 

Additionally, two popular practices that highlight functional core movement are Pilates and yoga.  Pilates is a mind/body discipline that increases flexibility and strengthens the legs, back, hips and abdominals—the entire core. This practice accentuates proper spinal alignment, improves balance, and proper breathing techniques to allow oxygen to flow into core contracted muscles.  Yoga is another mind/body practice that uses asanas (or poses) to enhance your posture and core strength.  There are many different variations of yoga, but the principle physical benefits are the same which focus on stretching the muscles, increasing the range of motion of various joints, and promoting flexibility and fluidity throughout the body.  All of these benefits lead to a more solid core.  If you’re seeking a flat stomach with visible abs, look no further than SLT and Y7 for sweat-dripping Pilates and yoga workouts, respectively.  You will leave the studios with wobbly legs, spaghetti arms, and out of breath for perhaps some of the top core workouts.  

Upon the development of your core muscles, you’ll notice the benefits in your daily life that include better posture, improved strength, less back pain, tighter abs, and the ability to drop a clothing size or two. In summary having a strong, flexible core is the powerhouse of your body that can optimize your athleticism and provide for a better overall quality of life. Just don’t forget that if you want to notice a visual difference in your core region, that nutrition is 80% of the equation.   

Plant-Based Protein Powder Guide for Beginners

SANO Editorial

Whether you are an experienced user of protein powders or if you’re on your new year’s resolution journey, you’ll find this article of interest.  At SANO—meaning ‘healthy’ in the Italian language—our cornerstone product is organic, plant-based nutrition for those seeking to live their best luxury lifestyle.  SANO organic plant-based proteins are made from a multi-source blend of plant-based proteins and are an excellent option to increase more plant-based nutrition into your on-the-go life.   

Is SANO Plant-Based Protein Right for Me?  Whether you desire high-quality nutrition, the addition of more plant-based foods into your diet or a post-workout recovery protein shake, SANO is right for you.  In selecting SANO organic plant-based protein each serving includes 20 grams of clean protein from pea protein, hemp protein and flaxseeds—which include all nine essential amino acids—vitamins and minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.   Our flavors are available in two delectable options that include vanilla and chocolate.

How Can I Use My Plant-Based Protein Powder?  No matter which flavor you select, not only are they delicious in taste but they are extremely versatile.  They taste yummy mixing them with water or your favorite non-dairy beverages.  Additionally, SANO proteins can also be used in a lot of different ways in the kitchen such as shaking it, blending it, baking it and rolling it. 

Shaking It. Do you always find yourself on-the-go?  No worries, SANO organic plant-based proteins are conveniently packaged in single-serve sizes to take with you.  Take any blender bottle or Mason jar and add one packet of SANO protein with 8-12 ounces of water or any unsweetened non-dairy beverage (we recommend almond milk) with a couple ice cubes (optional) and shake it!  This is like the Ray-ban Wayfarers version that were introduced in the ‘50s and immortalized in Risky Business when Tom Cruise decided every young player should own a pair!   

Blending It. If you have more time at home and are channeling that inner kitchen game, try making a blended smoothie protein shake.  And you don’t need to be a healthy celebrity chef at all since we have you covered!  SANO has a lot of great recipes that are located under the Recipes section of our website.  One in our catalog that we are loving right now is our Cherry Almond Protein Smoothie

Baking It.  At SANO we think weekends should be blissful, so indulge by adding some protein powder to your savory meals and baked goods.  Next time you fire up the griddle on a Saturday morning try adding a little nutrition by making fluffy protein pancakes or these decadent crepes

Rolling It.   If you’re looking for a snack in between meals or a little energy before a workout, you can make some energy protein balls.  These are a nutritious snack for satisfying your appetite in between meals and providing some energy.  They can be stored in a freezer for a later time.  

Protein is a vital and often overlooked nutrient that is essential for exercisers and non- exercisers alike.  Not having enough protein in your daily diet can affect your performance, recovery, health, weight and your overall appearance.  Therefore, including SANO plant-based protein daily is an excellent and convenient way to add more protein into our diet and achieve many health benefits.

Creating a Better Version of You

SANO Editorial

It’s a new year, and for many of us that accompanied the goal of transforming our diet and fitness regimen.  If a good portion of you have fallen off the proverbial wagon for New Year’s resolutions, we thought we could help you frame your resolutions in a slightly different way.  And for those of you who have stuck to your resolution so far—congratulations and we think you may find this article useful too.    

Accept and Love Yourself Now.  You may have heard this before, but you can’t really love another until you fully immerse loving yourself. If you carefully observe what you already have with appreciation and bless it for having significance in your life, you can reset your brain to acknowledge all of the good things in your life.  Acknowledging all that is good in your life is the groundwork for all richness.  Once you have ability to realize and accept all of the intrinsic assets you possess, you can successfully increase your feeling of self-worth and share that with others.  

Release Anger and Practice Forgiveness.  When someone you have feelings for hurts you with their actions or words we have a tendency to retain anger, resentment and seek revenge to even the score.  While the feeling of anger is completely normal for humans, it can sometimes effect our physical and mental health.  Research by the Mayo Clinic suggests the retention of anger can cause difficulty sleeping, digestive problems and event heart conditions.  The quicker you are able to forgive and release yourself from the feeling of resentment from the negative experiences of the past, the better you will be to move on.  Try articulating your feelings on paper or meditating about your negative experience so you can learn to not repeat them in the future.  Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

Always Be Polite and Courteous.  How much effort does it take to say “thank you” or “thank you so much” to someone that may have done something for you, or to hold a door for someone who might be a couple steps behind you?  During your morning commute, try starting your day holding a door or elevator for someone and feel the gratitude encapsulate your body.  And if someone is rude or condescending to you, kill them with your kindness. Your small act of kindness may put them in a better mood and have a rippling effect to others they may encounter throughout the day. 

Surprise Someone Special.  Everyone likes surprises right? Think about the rush of excitement you experience when a package awaits you at home as you try to think what might be inside, or that time your friend told you that just the two of you were going out for drinks/dinner and the rest of your friends/family/colleagues were there to celebrate a special occasion in your life.  Why do those little unexpected pleasures in life mean so much to us?  According to Dr. Gregory S. Berns, MD, PhD, our brain’s pleasure sensors are more “turned on” when we experience unpredictable enjoyable things relative to predictable events.  Turn a loved one’s pleasure sensors on by sending them a card or present.  And remember, it’s not about the gift’s value, it’s the words that accompany it and the thought that counts. 

Live for Yesterday.  Everything we read today tells us to live for the moment.  While we believe that it’s important to savor the fruitfulness of the beauty and love that surrounds us, today is really tomorrow’s yesterday.  Sometimes living “in the moment” results in impulse behavior causing undesirable results and strife in our lives. Living too in the moment can sometimes cause subsequent depression due to martial issues, financial illiquidity and even health concerns.  When you think about it, living in the past is really living in the present and it’s critical to realize the decisions you make today will significantly impact the results of the vision and goals you set to obtain in the future.

Becoming a better person doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s most important to believe in yourself and know that there is a better you inside that desires to come out.  Sometimes choosing the road less traveled will make all the difference.